Philippines to acquire 18 new Alenia Aermacchi SF-260E trainers

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The Philippines is to finalise a deal with Alenia Aermacchi for 18 new-build SF-260E primary/basic trainers, Maj Gen Pedro Insierto, head of the nation's armed forces modernisation programme, has told local media.

Deliveries of the Lycoming AEIO-540-powered aircraft are expected to start this year and conclude during 2008, with Alenia Aermacchi chief executive confirming the deal during the Dubai air show. The aircraft will be built at the Italian company's Venegono site near Milan and undergo final assembly in the Philippines by a yet to be disclosed local partner, says Cosentino.

The Philippines air force has already acquired 72 SF-260-series aircraft since the 1970s, with around 25 of these still in service. It also operates Aermacchi S-211 jet trainers.